Money for Nothing

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A couple of days later, LifeLock announced that Maynard had resigned.

In early July, LifeLock hired public-relations heavyweight Jason Rose to help with its tarnished image. New Times e-mailed LifeLock new questions for this article, and LifeLock's CEO e-mailed a response, starting by thanking New Times "for pointing out to us a number of issues regarding LifeLock co-founder Robert Maynard Jr."

The company claims to be distancing itself from Maynard, who still owns about 10 percent of the business, and Davis says the company's founder no longer has access to an office or any LifeLock systems, and that he has no more ability to conduct business for LifeLock.

However, Davis says the company will continue to employ Maynard as a consultant who works from home. Asked to explain why the founder was being retained by LifeLock in any way, Davis did not comment.

Davis, who claims he never knew Maynard's jail story was false, had previously said he would investigate the tale but now says he considers the matter closed. He denies, however, that he repeated Maynard's story at a Phoenix golf club in June before members of the local business group, the Enterprise Network. Michelle LaFlam, the network's administrator, initially told New Times she recalled Davis telling the story but, when reached again in July, says he may not have repeated it, after all.

In any case, Rose says LifeLock employees won't continue to recite Maynard's story. And, he says, LifeLock plans to remove all references and links to articles about the tale from its Web site.

Maynard, who refused to answer questions from New Times before the May 31 article, commented to www.Scambusters.org and Zetter from Wired.com after it appeared. He told Scambusters that he had "no knowledge" of the casino debt, but that he chose to pay the $16,000 because it wasn't much money to him. In fact, Maynard was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt in 2003.

"I understand the issue in Nevada looks bad, but I did not do it," he wrote.

He also was quoted as saying he and his father co-signed for the American Express card, though he offered no proof.

David Cowan, who in April was among the investors who gave LifeLock $6 million in new funding, wrote in his blog space in June that Maynard has health issues that affected his past. Cowan wrote that Maynard has bipolar disorder, which can lead to "dire financial and legal consequences," but that LifeLock's founder received proper treatment and "built his third company responsibly."

In an e-mail exchange with New Times this month, Maynard refused to comment on his medical history. But he did ask his Phoenix lawyer, Martin Galbut, to respond for the first time to New Times' questions about the jail story and about the American Express deal.

In a curious July 5 letter to New Times asking for unneeded corrections, Galbut wrote that the May 31 story "misrepresents facts" concerning the 2003 Mirage casino incident. As for the evidence, Galbut says Maynard can prove a fake California driver's license was issued in his name and revoked in 2000.

Galbut was asked how the fake California license he says was issued in 2000 relates to two apparently genuine driver's licenses of Maynard's on file at the Mirage in 2003 — but he hadn't explained that by press time.

The accusation that Maynard Jr. stole his father's identity to obtain a credit card is false, Galbut writes, because Maynard Sr. "has never alleged that the initial American Express card was obtained fraudulently."

Yet that's exactly what Maynard Sr. alleged in New Times' May 31 article.

In a follow-up phone call to Galbut's firm, attorney Bryan Gottfredson says he can't explain the discrepancy.

Reached again in July, Maynard Sr. says he's been advised by his lawyer not to talk further about the American Express case, because a lawsuit against him by the company for the unpaid bill hasn't been settled. But he added that New Times' May 31 story is accurate.

Though LifeLock contends it's ending its lying ways, Robert Maynard Jr.'s brainchild company just can't seem to break the habit.

One of the most jarring examples of a type of service nobody should ever buy is the "audit" LifeLock claims it performs on whether a child's Social Security number has been stolen by criminals.

Experts say it may be a good idea for parents to occasionally inquire whether a child's personal information is being exploited. A child wouldn't be held responsible for fraudulent charges, but identity theft could affect his or her future credit rating.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.